When a Mac Preview user sees a link in the PDF and tries to click it nothing happens, although the mouse cursor changes indicating that the link is clickable.

Users using other applications than Mac Preview such as Acrobat have no problems.

Does Apple Preview disable clickable links in PDF in general or is it PDF dependent?

Clickable Link in Mac Preview do not open in browser

  • In the past and generally speaking I've had no problem clicking on hyperlinks in PDF documents when viewed in Preview and they've opened in a Browser. I just tested several different PDF documents, ones I just created and some downloaded from the Internet and again no problem following hyperlinks. So I'd have to say it's more to do with the document then Preview itself although without the document your having an issue with I can't say for certain. Jul 13, 2015 at 11:08
  • It is very likely that that button is not a hyperlink but a button with a JavaScript action. In this case, it is no surprise that Preview.app is not working, because it is too dumb and crappy to support (Acrobat) JavaScript. How does this form work on mobile devices?
    – Max Wyss
    Jul 13, 2015 at 11:27
  • @MaxWyss the link is not JS its just a normal https link on a image. PDF does not have JS as it is PDF/A compliant. Depending on the mobile device it works on Android but not on iOS.
    – Vad1mo
    Jul 13, 2015 at 11:33
  • did you try a raw link ?
    – Ruskes
    Jul 13, 2015 at 14:59
  • I use links in PDFs and in fact rely on them to be on invoices generated from within my software. Clicking on them in Preview definitely works. One other item to note: Acrobat Reader seems to place a limit on the maximum URL length of 1052 characters while Preview does not have a limit.
    – cclark
    Jul 14, 2015 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


The problem was in the encoding of the URL. Apparently Preview is more picky about that compared to other pdf viewers such as Adobe.

Also, it turns out to work better if we put the image inside the link

<a ...>
  <img ...>xx</img>

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